Last Wednesday, I was on the treadmill at the smaller of the two health clubs where I’m an instructor, the one where I’ve worked for almost 14 years in many different capacities. The group fitness director (who is really just a personal trainer with the title) came up to me–during my own private workout time–and bluntly said, “We’re cutting your Saturday spin class.”

What? First of all, could you wait until I’m off the treadmill? Second, how about a little intro sentence, like “Hey Melisa!” or “How’s it going? I have something to tell you.”

I have taught this class for six years, and before I taught it, I was a participant in it for about five. The reason they’re cutting it is not me personally, but overall club usage has dwindled to a drip-drop on the weekends. The club is located in an office building and the location does not lend itself, really, to busy weekends. They are taking my class–the only weekend class–off the schedule. I personally think it’s a stupid move, one which alienates people who might want the class available on the weekends. But I’m not in charge.

Oh, did I mention that they were not even going to let me teach it one more time, to announce to my class MYSELF that there would be no more Saturdays*? After much begging and nagging, they let me teach on Saturday for one last time. So at least that’s something.

I have always said that I would teach there until they don’t let me do it anymore; that day is coming quick. I have one weekly class left there, my Wednesday morning Heavy Metal class. I expect they will take that from me (as well as wipe out the entire class program) by the end of this year.

The silver lining in all of this? My body has been at a standstill for months, perhaps more than a year. (Well, THAT’S not the silver lining. Keep reading.) I have taught, for the past two years, between four and nine classes per week which sounds great until your body gets used to the same activity at the same time. I have needed to change things up for a while now. This Saturday thing has instigated a feeling of “Yes, I can absolutely make some great changes in my routine now!” (THERE it is!)

I read over at Andie’s place that she was considering trying Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred. I haven’t been able to get my mind off of it ever since, and I finally bought it over the weekend**. I’ve always said, since I started watching “The Biggest Loser”, that the thought of Jillian kicking my a$$ in a workout sounded heavenly to me (I’m weird, I know), so it was time to try the next best thing to training with her personally. There are 3 workouts (level 1, 2, and 3) contained on the one DVD. The workouts are ONLY 20 MINUTES LONG (plus warmup and cooldown: total=25 minutes!). You read that right. What better length of workout could there be for someone like me who is always in a time-crunch? But seriously, 20 minutes? How effective could that be? Before beginning yesterday, I thought, “Eh, I’ll see what level 1 is like; I’ll probably be able to skip it because it won’t be very difficult. (The thing I don’t like about the DVDs that I’ve purchased in the past is that, although they can be “fun”, I don’t feel like I get much out of them, really. They are mostly geared towards non-exercisers who need to get started on something.)

This DVD? Holy crap. I consider myself pretty fit, and Level 1 kicked my booty to the moon and back. I was sweating like a pig, so to speak. After a 20-minute workout. Yesterday afternoon I was sore in my waist (which, honestly, I love) and I felt like I had been run over by a MINI Cooper. On Level 1. Day 1.

I became so excited that I went back to Andie’s post to see which other bloggers she named as trying this workout. I searched for “30 Day Shred” on Twitter and followed a couple of new folks who are doing it. I googled it. I found a blog about it, called “I’ll Stop the World And Shred With You”. I stuck it in my reader immediately and e-mailed them to let them know that I’d love to be on their list of Shredheads. I became a fan of it on Facebook. (GO BIG OR GO HOME)

Whining aside, I couldn’t wait to do it today. My plan? To really, really do it for 30 days straight and see if I can kickstart my metabolism. I don’t plan to get militant about my diet, but my desire to do well with this does provide a little inspiration to eat better.

Are any of you out there looking for a challenging workout program that you can do in the comfort of your own home and that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg? (The DVD costs between $9.99-$14.99, depending on where you get it, and you need a set of weights) Check out this video of various clips from the DVD if you need help making up your mind.

A word to the wise (or a warning, depending on how you look at it)? This is NOT for you if you are not serious about a tough workout. That’s all I’m sayin’.

If you ARE serious and plan to rush right out and get it, let me know! I’d love to keep in touch with others who are doing it***!

I have to go ice my waist now. Carry on!

*I am positive, after all my years in the health club industry, that for the most part, people in charge only think with part of their brain.

**NOTE: This is not a paid review of this DVD. This is just a post containing my honest, unsolicited thoughts about it. Thank you for your time and attention.

***I can’t remember what this footnote was going to be, but thanks to Colleen for noticing that it was missing! haha